E-mu Audity

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Only one Audity ever came off the assembly line. At the time, it was a state of the art computer based analog synthesizer commissioned by ex-Tangerine Dreamer Peter Baumann in 1979. It came at a time when E-mu, like other synth manufacturers of the time, were making a move towards producing an instrument that was more compact and more advanced than the purely analog modular beasts they had been making. Under pressure from synths like Sequential's Prophet-5, E-mu set out to make a very powerful analog synth. The Audity was a 16-voice instrument with a massive amount of programmability and stability thanks to the computer based technology that controlled it.


Unfortunately the instrument was so expensive ($70,000) that nobody wanted to buy one. It was also a bear to program. E-mu wound up shelving it in order to start over with a new concept inspired by the Fairlight. This led to a sophisticated and much cheaper sampler - the Emulator 1. But the Audity had not been forgotten by E-mu. Much of the Audity's multi-timbral design went into the creation of the sample-playback Proteus synthesizers, which in turn paved way for the Audity 2000 sound module!

The one and only living Audity is currently in a synthesizer gallery at the CANTOS Music Foundation in Calgary, Alberta Canada. It was never actually completed, so it has never actually worked. As such, it remains a truly one-of-a-kind show-piece of what could have been - the synthesizer equivalent of a concept-car.

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Polyphony - 16 voices
Oscillators - 2 SSM Chips with multi-waveforms, Noise Source per voice
LFO - Yes
Filter - SSM Filter Chips: High-Pass Filter, Low-Pass Filter. Separate resonant Filter also available.
Envelopes - Envelopes gens for VCOss, VCFss, and VCA's
Memory - Multi Patch Storage
Keyboard - 61 keys
Date Produced - 1979/80


Images from Flickr.